The sound of church bells has been part of our community for a very long time. Until 2001, a exterior speaker system broadcasted recordings of the bells of Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Fransisco (OCA). As wonderful as this was, the artificiality of a recording cannot be compared to the beauty of real bells being rung. When the recording system eventually broke, we began ringing an old church bell imported from Greece, and soon devised a way to ring it in conjunction with a Western-style hand chime. This produced an ethereal peal, which, while not being completely traditional, brought the reality of bell-ringing to our services.
Finally, in 2007, a set of seven traditional church bells was cast for our parish by the Podorozhny Foundry in Voronezh, Russia, thus fulfilling our dream. In June, they were hung together with the old Greek bell, which fit perfectly into the set. A year later, a roof was added, providing protection from the elements to the bells and the bell ringer.
The largest bell, weighing 550 pounds, was cast in commemoration of our patron, St. John Chrysostom, bearing an icon of him. An inscription on the side of this bell reads,
This bell was cast in 2007 for the church
of St. John Chrysostom in House Springs, Missouri,
commemorating the 1600th anniversary of his repose.